Q&A: Sticker-Shocked

Q. The Village of Addison inspector has deemed that we must REPLACE (not repair) all our outdoor concrete stairs and landings. Our contractor originally said it would cost $67,000 per building. Now he’s saying it’s $328,000 per building. 

There are three staircases and sets of landings per building about three stories high. Many of us who live there are low-income or near that, or senior citizens. We can barely afford the mortgages and assessments, let alone an additional $8,000 per unit.

People have said things like, ‘It could have been repaired,’ and that ‘Maybe the inspector is friends with the contractor?’ Can you please help us?

                                                     —In a Bind

A. “It is not clear whether a contract has been signed with the contractor as of yet,” said Robert Prince, a partner at the law firm of Cervantes Chatt and Prince, located in Chicago and Burr Ridge. “And, if so, whether the contractor made repairs that have now failed inspection, necessitating replacement rather than repairs of the stairs.  

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